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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/711448-my-inspection-sticker--January-8-2001
Rated: E · Non-fiction · Comedy · #711448
This happened to me when Massachusetts changed it's automobile registration policies.

I just noticed yesterday that my inspection ticker had expired and decided to take care of it today.

Since you're supposed to run your car a bit before you go in I decide to drive from my work in Lexington to Wakefield, get my sticker in Wakefield, and then get a sub at Toodys.

So, I drive to Wakefield. In Wakefield I drive by
gas station #1 (north ave & church st), they
don't do inspections anymore.
Gas Station #2 (north ave & albion), they don't do inspections anymore.
Gas Station #3 (texaco on water st) DO inspections but they can't for 45 minutes.

I say, no, I'll find another place, thanks.

Gas Station #4 (the Greeks at water & farm) don't do inspections anymore.

I head into Lynnfield. By this time I'm hungry and I need to go to the bathroom.

Gas station #5, (Lynnfield center), they do inspections, but the guys about to go to lunch, come back in 45 minutes.

Gas Station #6, (Salem St and Lowell St) don't do inspections.

Gas Station #7, (Shell @ the 4 corners Lil Peach/Meletharbs) SURE! they'll do an inspection. yipee!!! They drive my car into the garage, take my $$ & my registration...(I use the ladies room)

"Oh Miss? where's your other license plate?"
"huh?"
"you need a front license plate... whale plates have two."
"they only sent me one, I got it like 5 years ago, they only sent me one"
"you have to go to the registry and get the front one, we can't help ya"
"they only sent me one..." as I get in my car and drive away.

I drive directly to Toodys. LARGE steak & cheese with sauce (usually get small sub)

I return to Gas Station #3, just in case they don't know about the license plate rule. They drive it into the bay... oops, they know about the license plate rule. Gotta go to the registry. Some old guy comes in while my car's in the bay and asks for directions to the registry. The 2 gas station attendants and I decide that it's best for the old geezer in the Lincoln Continental to follow me since I'm going there anyways.

I drive to the registry followed by the old guy.

The registry doesn't care that they only sent me one plate, I need two and it'll cost me $10 to get the replacement one... which they will send me in the mail in a COUPLE of MONTHS.

But, they gave me a piece of paper that said that it's ok, I paid my $10 and if I show it to the gas station attendant I can get my inspection done.

I go to Meletharbs ice cream parlor and have a strawberry frappe. I tell the guy in Meletharbs that I'm entering my third hour of trying to acquire and inspection sticker and HE goes on a tirade about what HE had to do and where he had to go to get HIS sticker.

"It's a conspiracy between the government and the automakers... if they can keep our cars from passing inspection 'cuz of a rusty bumper or something then we'll have to keep buying new cars. Everyone has a $300/month car payment, they just want all the money to keep going around and around. And the days of paying the gas station guy a lil extra money to get your sticker are over. Those days are over, I tell ya. Someone should make a business of doing inspections only..." he kept talking, he had followed me to the front door of Melethabs, and I'd still be there trying to get away with my frappe if his phone hadn't rung. "Good luck!! You'll need it"

So, I drive across the street to Gas Station #7. Show the dude my paper from the registry saying it's ok to give me my inspection now.

"Did you make a new plate?"
"Did *I* make a plate?"
"yeah, you have to make a new plate."
"but this paper says I paid my $10 and my plate's coming in the mail"
"no, this paper says you paid $10 to authorize the use of a temporary plate until your replacement comes. you have to make a temporary plate"
"you mean to say, I have to do a little arts and crafts project before you'll give me the sticker? I have to HANDCRAFT a plate?"
"yup. gotta make it look as much like a real plate as possible"
"uh ok, right, thanks, bye"

Now, still drinking my frappe, in an incredible state of disbelief, and feeling like I need still more punishment, I drove back to the registry since it was only down the street and it was relatively empty when I was in there 20 minutes ago.
"I just went to a gas station and they wouldn't give me an inspection 'til I made my own front plate"

To which the registry guy shrugs and smiles and says, "wow, aren't they stinkers, pfft, hehe"

"is this normal?," I say, "I have to make my own plate? You can't print me out something temporary? You're saying the registry is telling me to MAKE my own license plate"
"yup, it'll be a couple of months before you get the replacement"

I drive back to work... after WAY too long a lunch. I think I decided to temp fate and not get my inspection until my new plate comes.

I slipped on ice on my way into work this morning. scraped up my knee and gloves. I said to the stranger behind me that saw me fall "well, at least my day will only get better from here"
"Ha ha," he said "well that's the truth"

hope your monday's going better than mine.











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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/711448-my-inspection-sticker--January-8-2001